The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday said that the country's first fully developed vaccine against pneumonia has received approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). With the help of the Special Expert Committee (SEC) for Pneumonia Vaccine, the drug regulator reviewed Phase I, II and III clinical trial data submitted by Pune-based firm Serum Institute of India. Then approved for Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine. This company is counted among the companies working in the field of vaccine production worldwide. The ministry said the vaccine would be used for active immunity against pneumonia and invasive disease caused by "Streptococcus pneumoniae" among infants.

All trials of pneumonia vaccine were done inside the country for the first time

Serum Institute has conducted first, second and third phase clinical trials of this pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccine, ie clinical trial trials all over India. It is believed that this is the first time that all the trials have been conducted within the country. Along with this, the company has also conducted a trial of pneumonia vaccine in The Gambia.

Pneumonia vaccine will be made in the country for the first time

The Union Health and Family Ministry said that till now the manufacturing companies of vaccine for pneumonia have been abroad, due to which the supply of vaccine has been coming from outside the country. This is the first time that a pneumonia vaccine will be made indigenously and DCGI has approved Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd for its manufacturing. This company has made the first indigenously made vaccine for pneumonia.

Pneumonia kills millions of children

According to the World Health Organization, pneumonia is the cause of death in 15% of children under the age of 5. You will be surprised to know that in 2017, more than eight lakh children worldwide died due to pneumonia . At the same time, in 2015, the same figure of death due to pneumonia was above nine lakh worldwide, which included children under five years of age. According to UNICEF, the death toll of children under five years of age due to pneumonia in India was over 1.5 lakh in 2018. People at risk for pneumonia include adults over the age of 65 and people with prior health problems.

Indigenous vaccine for pneumonia a boon for all

Dr VK Paul, Health Member, NITI says that “This vaccine for pneumonia will be used for active immunization against pneumonia and aggressive disease caused by “Streptococcus pneumoniae” in infants. Having an indigenous pneumococcal vaccine will be a game-changer in our effort to reduce child mortality. Pneumonia is the most important cause of child death, and pneumococcal is responsible for more than half of severe pneumonia cases. India's vaccine will prove to be a boon for our country and the world.

Serum Institute is also in the forefront of making corona vaccine

Pune-based Serum Institute is vigorously working with Oxford University to start production for the COVID-19 vaccine . We hope that the potential corona vaccine will be helpful in eliminating the novel corona virus. CEO Adar Poonawalla said that 50 percent of the vaccine produced will be reserved for India and the remaining 50 percent will be for the world.

this disease is dangerous

Pneumonia is a dangerous disease that mostly affects young children. It is an acute respiratory infection affecting the lungs. Normally the alveoli (small sacs in the lungs) fill with air during breathing, but in pneumonia, the alveoli fill with pus and fluid. Due to this, there is a problem in breathing. Pneumonia is caused by a number of infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria, and fungi. In India, pneumonia was the second leading cause of death for children under five in 2018.

Whereas vaccination against this disease has improved due to government initiatives and awareness programs in India. Yet many children, mainly female children, are still out of reach. Experts say that access to a vaccine for locally made pneumonia could prove to be more accessible and affordable.

Symptoms of pneumonia in children under 5 years old

  • cough and/or shortness of breath, with or without fever
  • Rapid breathing (movement or retraction of the chest during breathing; whereas in a healthy person, the chest expands to breathe).
  • Very seriously ill babies may have trouble breastfeeding or drinking at all. These babies may also experience fainting and hypothermia .

How does pneumonia spread?

Pneumonia can be transmitted in many ways-

  • Viruses and bacteria commonly found in a child's nose or throat can infect the lungs.
  • The organism can also spread through air-borne droplets from a cough or sneeze.
  • Pneumonia can also spread through the blood, especially at birth and soon after.

The above information is not a substitute for any kind of medical advice. Contact your doctor for more information related to this topic.

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